Forty-five secondary students who recently graduated from a course in Adolescent Media Training have been urged to view it as part of life-long learning.

Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, Senator Harry Husbands, while addressing the graduation ceremony at The St. Michael School, Martindale???s Road, St. Michael, said the course should be seen as the basis of a future career.

???The skills that you are acquiring now???as insignificant as you may think they are??? these skills will eventually be extremely important in your future,??? he said.

The students were also told that they should look forward to making career changes at least four times in their life, as compared with people in his generation who remained in a job for about 40 or 45 years.

Suggesting that they should always be on the look-out for any training opportunities, he urged them to hone their skills, knowledge and experience in various areas to allow for them to have options.

???It will not end at school??? the skills that you have acquired here will form the basis of how you look at life in the future,??? said the Parliamentary Secretary, while stressing that most employers, universities and tertiary level institutions might inquire about their extracurricular and volunteering activities in addition to their certification.

Mr. Husbands also stressed that they should ???spend some time in service to other people??? as it would hold them in ???good stead for the future???.??UNICEF representative for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Khin Sandi Lwin, echoing similar sentiments, urged students to remember those who had ???been left behind??? or had ???fallen between the cracks???.

???Those are the voices who are not heard??? the young people who are not in the school system or who may be in the school system but suffering great stress and abuse at home. Being able to have that insight and to share that with those of us who need to work on those issues is the power that you have and we hope that you use that opportunity to really go forward,??? she said.

Pointing out that the course was based on the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) which guides the work of UNICEF, Ms. Lwin said: ???And, at the centre of it is the participation and the voice of young people. So the CRC recognises that the rights of the child to seek, receive, impact information and ideas of all kinds, either in writing, print or any form of art or through any other medium??? is something we need to provide the opportunity for.???

Commending the students for the promotional work done on the CRC, she said UNICEF was pleased to be ???on the journey to create that platform??? for expression. Ms. Lwin also pointed out that young people who are given opportunities to express themselves often do better in life, and she encouraged the adults to listen to their charges.

The course was held by the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, in collaboration with UNICEF.

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